Wang Hao wins Japan Open

Chinaís Wang Hao, the number three seed, won the Menís Singles event at the Volkswagen Open Japan on Sunday 24th June 2006 beating compatriot Ma Long in five games at the final hurdle. Wang Hao won 11-9, 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6.

It was Wang Haoís seventh career title at an open international tournament on the ITTF Pro Tour tournament. In addition he has won twice at the Grand Finals, thus making his overall total nine.

All Time List
On the all time list of ITTF Pro Tour Menís Singles winners, he now stands in fifth place alongside Kong Linghui who collected a eight victories on the road and one at the Grand Finals.

Wang Liqin still leads the way with an overall total of twenty-three; Ma Lin has sixteen, Vladimir Samsonov fifteen and Timo Boll twelve.

Wang Hao, from Changchun in northern China, won his first Menís Singles title on the ITTF Pro Tour in 2001 when he won at the Japan Open. Two years later he won in Croatia and at the Grand Finals. Meanwhile, in 2004 he succeeded at the Greek Open and in 2006 at the Liebherr Slovenian Open and at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals.

In January 2007 he retained his title in Slovenia.

The final in Chiba saw Wang Hao started as the favourite; of the five meetings between Wang Hao and Ma Long prior to the Volkswagen Open Japan, all but one had been won by Wang Hao, The one defeat was the most recent. Ma Long beat Wang Hao in five games in the third round of the Menís Singles event at the Salwa Cup Kuwait Open.

On the previous four occasions Wang Hao had always won. He succeeded in February 2002 at the Qatar Open, winning in five games in the second round; then at the Volkswagen Open China in Shenzhen in September 2005 he was the victor at the semi-final stage in four straight games.

Retained Title
Meanwhile, in 2006 and 2007 he beat Ma Long on his way to gold in Slovenia. At the Liebherr Slovenian Open 2006 he won the quarters whilst one year later at the Gorenje Slovenian Open success was gained in round three.

In Chiba, it was another title to the collection; he brought matters to an end by winning the Menís Singles crown.

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